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Rick Santorum Listed Opus Dei Trip in 2002 As Official Senate Duties

March 20, 2012

Not for the first time does the antics of Rick Santorum land on the pile labeled absurd and unacceptable.  What I read today about this GOP presidential candidate was just way over the line.  His willful neglect of what constituted “official duties”  while serving as a U.S. Senator were on full display in 2002.

America is not in need of a national elected minister–or priest.  Citizens should not be preached at by presidential nominees, nor should they accept the all-out blurring of lines between politics and religion.  Santorum would be a much better informed man if he read more Thomas Jefferson and less papal pablum.

So once again there is a need to highlight the bizarre blending of Rick Santorum’s religious convictions with the political side of his life.  The event that made news today involves the darkest and strangest side of  Catholicism—Opus Dei.

In January 2002, prominent Catholics from around the world gathered in Rome to celebrate the Spanish priest who founded one of the church’s most conservative and devout groups, Opus Dei.

The event drew cardinals, bishops and other powerful Vatican officials. And among those invited to speak was a future presidential candidate: Rick Santorum, whose faith had become so essential to his politics that on federal documents he listed the trip, paid for by an Opus Dei foundation, as part of his official duties as a U.S. senator from Pennsylvania.

During Senate debates about abortion, Santorum told the audience in Rome, he hears Escriva telling him that “it is not true that there is opposition between being a good Catholic and serving civil society faithfully.” In his public fight to uphold “absolute truths,” Santorum said, “blessed Josemaria guides my way.”

“ ‘As long as you are making straight for your goal, head and heart intoxicated with God, why worry . . . ?’ ” Santorum said, quoting Escriva, according to a transcript of the speech.

Less well known is Santorum’s embrace of the Catholicism of Opus Dei, a relatively small yet influential group within the church that is defined by the intensity with which followers are urged to live out church doctrine — in Escriva’s words, to “seek holiness” in all realms of life.

The group encourages “unity” between followers’ personal and public lives as Catholics, the rigorous practice of church sacraments and, to some degree, gestures of self-denial. Its most devoted members follow a daily two-hour ritual of wearing a spiked metal chain on their thighs to recall Christ’s suffering — a practice followed by Mother Teresa.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. quintascott permalink
    April 1, 2012 5:24 PM

    Read John M. Barry”s Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul. It is about Religion and State in 17th century England, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, and William’s thinking and his struggle to establish a colony where religious and political liberty prevailed.

  2. William Huie permalink
    March 30, 2012 11:04 AM

    On one level, I very much applaud every Man and Woman to seek Holiness, but True Wholy-ness, and not one directed by a Religious Leader, but a Spiritual/Psychological/Mental/Emotional Leader, one who truly works for the good of Humanity, and not one supporting this or that Organization. It really matters what we each do with our time, and what we are trying to support.

    Supporting Freedom, Justice, Liberty, Equality under the Law, Equal Justice for All People, the End of Privileges, the End of Tyranny, Democracy, Healthiness, or any other True Virtue, is needed by our world and our future.

    Supporting War, Selfishness, Capitalism, Lies, Murder, Conspiracies for Personal or Organizational Power, Destruction of Nature, is merely supporting the Status Quo, and their Decrepit World Order.

    Sharp is the Sword of All Zealots, regardless of their creed. Destructive to their enemies, and certain in their damnations. The true danger to Liberty are the Tyranical Zealots.

  3. March 21, 2012 12:58 AM

    Not surprised.. but concerned.

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